I have been reading the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. I haven’t gotten too far, but I am already so happy I am reading it. I struggle like a lot of people with anxiety. I really like this quote from his book:
“To the degree that our emotions get in the way of or enhance our ability to think and plan, to pursue training for a distant goal, to solve problems and the like, they define the limits of our capacity to use our innate mental abilities, and so determine how we do in life. And to the degree to which we are motivated by feelings of enthusiasm and pleasure in what we do-or even by an optimal degree of anxiety-they propel us to accomplishment. It is in this sense that emotional intelligence is a master aptitude, a capacity that profoundly affects all other abilities, either facilitating or interfering with them.”
I am grateful that I can learn from people like this more about how my brain works. It is interesting to learn how these emotions in the right balance can propel us to great accomplishment, but when out of balance and extreme, can lead us into a stagnant life.
I know that many people with severe anxiety need help from someone besides themselves to start thinking clearly-to not let their emotions overrule all logic. But for those who suffer from smaller amounts, the knowledge that we can overcome our anxiety is a great tool.
I know for myself, that my emotions have gotten the better of me for a lot of my growing up life. I had a lot of self-doubt. I don’t know why, but when I left home to go to college, I told myself that I wasn’t going to be the shy girl who thought I couldn’t be good at anything and wasn’t smart anymore. I was going to start over. Almost no one would know me. They would not know that I rarely ever talked to more than just a handful of people. They wouldn’t know that I compared myself to everyone an decided I came up short. I could choose my path.
Once I got over being a bit homesick, I began to reach out. I made new friends, I even went on dates- I know crazy! I even tried out to be the publicity chair for my religious group on campus. Publicity! Me? But I got it. And I loved it! I was changing. I still had anxiety about going beyond my comfort zone, but in almost every case, I was rewarded with happiness and more friends. I believe having friends who support us makes for a much happier life.
And because I decided not to let me emotions prevent me from reaching out, I think people who knew me in my youth would not recognize me as the same person. And hopefully I can continue to improve and not let my emotions of failure and self-doubt prevent me from continually trying new things. Learning knew things.
One thing that I can give 100% credit to in this process of growth is my faith. Finally the teachings from my youth in church that I am a Child of God began to sink in. And in my church, young women ages 12-18 repeat this beautiful theme every week at church:
“We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.”
Each one of us on earth is important to our Heavenly Father. He is fully confident in us and in our ability to succeed. When we allow this knowledge to sink into our hearts, we can better override the thoughts of doubt and failure that anxiety often brings. And as we work hard to develop the values listed above we can feel more confident in our abilities to deal with any challenge life throws our way.
I hope that today you will believe that you are important. You are special. You can overcome any challenge before you. Trust God. Trust that He is there. Trust that there are angels dispatched from Heaven to bring you aid.
One of my favorite pictures hanging in my kitchen is by Annie Henrie Nader.
This is her story of the painting:
“This is a painting of a mother with her two children and an angel supporting her. It is a sacred moment of sacrifice, endurance, and great love. This painting is also a tribute to the many tender mercies in our lives—the sweet moments found in motherhood, and also the angels who come to our rescue in the form of friends and family. By seeing these tender mercies, we come to know God’s great love for His children. – Annie Nader”
You can buy this painting here Altus Fine Art
So when you are trying to stay positive and ignore those feelings of doubt, take heart, because you have more help that you can see.
Life is Good. Share the Good.
PS And hopefully we can all be an angel friend for someone in need. I know that I have had many angel friends who have gotten me through a lot of hard times. Like the time my friend showed up with brownies randomly about two months after I had had a miscarriage again and was still struggling. Oh how we need each other.